I’ve learned something since the covid pandemic started in spring of 2020. When the stay-at-home orders first hit, my husband and I had nothing better to do in the early hours of the morning than pull up 2 chairs in front of the fireplace and start quietly talking about God, family, priorities, hopes, fears and dreams. We held our cups of coffee and talked for 30 or 40 minutes as night gave way to dawn. Sometimes we talked. Sometimes we’d enjoy quiet moments of just being together. It was…special. It was intimate. It was bonding. It was precious.
Since then, we’ve engaged in that kind of special moment from time to time, but with no real regularity. Life got busy again. We both went to work, even though we do a lot of our ministry work and preparation at home.
But this morning, I decided to be more intentional. Good things don’t usually happen unless we put in a little effort! So, even though it was a little chilly on a May morning in Bellingham, WA, I told my husband I’d love to join him for a sunrise chat in our backyard as birds were beginning to chirp and the sun was beginning its slow rise for the morning. It was beautiful. It was peaceful. It was quiet. We had a soft and lovely conversation, sitting there bundled in jackets and enjoying the first rays of sunshine on our faces. It reminded me that Jesus told his followers to seek out a quiet place from time to time because their soul needed that rest and refreshment. Mark 6:31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.”
I encourage you to think about carving out time for a peaceful, quiet, morning conversation with your husband. I think you will find it is bonding. I know it will refresh your marriage.
While reading the Bible in recent days, I have stumbled upon several women who had tremendous influence over their husbands, but who, unfortunately, used that influence to satisfy their own selfish desires. It reminded me that, as women, we have a powerful allure with men. God wired men to be extremely attracted to the female body. This is awesome when we use that attraction to stay bonded to our husband and when we use that attraction with pure motives. Unfortunately, we don’t always do that.
We can learn what NOT to do from a few women in the Bible. Two that come to mind are Delilah and the daughter of Herodias. Delilah’s story is in Judges 16. The mighty man Samson is so intoxicated with the beauty of Delilah that he finally gives in to her badgering about the source of his power and he tells her his secret. The result? He loses his power, his eyes are gouged out by the enemy, and this once mighty man of God becomes completely ineffective.
The daughter of Herodias is featured in Mark 6. She is beautiful and dances erotically for King Herod. He is so enthralled with her that he becomes stupid! He offers her anything she wants…up to half his kingdom!! She ends up asking for the head of John the Baptist. The result? A mighty man of God, the messenger who paved the way for Jesus Christ, is killed.
Ladies, let’s be careful to wisely use the powerful sex appeal God has given us. You might find it exciting to turn men’s heads by wearing tight or revealing clothes in public, but think twice before you do that. You may destroy another woman’s marriage. You might think it’s cool that you can manipulate your husband through what you do or don’t offer him sexually. Think twice before you do that too. You may end up destroying your man and your own marriage.
Insist on being yourself in the bedroom, ladies! What do I mean by that? Well, unfortunately, I frequently hear stories from women about how their husbands are asking them to do increasingly bizarre things in the bedroom. Their guys want them to perform rather perverse sex acts, or dress like a stripper and do a pole dance, or dress like a dominatrix with whips and chains.
Why are many husbands asking these things of their wives? It’s likely because they’ve seen such stuff in pornography and they’re trying to replicate it with you! I don’t know about you, but I don’t think this is ok. Does it seem right that your husband would use you to try to recreate a fantasy featuring another woman he saw on a porn site? At that point, your husband isn’t even making love to you. It’s only about the sex act and you’re just playing a role.
The Bible instructs husbands in 1 Peter 3:7 “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” It is not respectful for your husband to ask you to play the role of some fantasy character from a porn site! I believe it’s right for you to insist that you get to be yourself in the bedroom. Yes, as wives, we can wear sexy lingerie and yes, we certainly should want to please our husbands, but let’s agree to be ourselves, and not some high school cheerleader or dominatrix! That’s my take on the subject. What do you think?
Does your husband tend to give full vent to his temper when you disagree with his opinion or his desires? When you guys have a conflict, does he end up yelling at you or saying mean things? When this happens, deep heart wounds occur. There must be a better way to handle conflict! Here are a couple things you can do to help put out his anger fire before it scorches you:
1) If a disagreement is starting to get a bit ugly, YOU can simply stop arguing! Tell your husband that you love him and you want to take a time-out before discussing the issue further. Tell him that you’re going to think and pray about his perspective and that you’d love him to do the same for you. Then agree to talk about it again later that day or tomorrow.
2) Remain calm even if your husband does not. Refuse to match his loud volume or hurtful comments. In fact, if he becomes emotionally abusive, calmly tell him you do not allow anyone to speak to you that way, and then walk away. If he follows you and continues the emotional abuse, get in your car and drive away. Do not tolerate aggressive, harsh, or wounding treatment from your husband during conflict. That is not God’s plan for how a wife should be treated. Colossians 3:19 says, “Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.”
So many couples, especially young couples, argue over money. They disagree over how much to spend, how much to save, the financial priorities, whether to help loved ones in need, whether to give to the church, and on and on.
You might not be aware, but the Bible actually gives a ton of guidance on how to handle money and possessions! I have found 3 particular Bible principles to be especially helpful for couples who have been suffering from financial tension and strain in their marriages. Allow me to summarize those principles for you. (You can look up the verses for yourself and ask the Lord to counsel you directly).
Bible Principle 1: Live intentionally below your means! (Hebrews 13:5) So many couples are under heavy financial strain because there is no real cushion in their budget. They’ve bought the biggest house they could possibly afford or the most expensive car they could afford, and then when something unexpected comes up, they become super stressed-out and start ugly arguments!
Bible Principle 2: Don’t wear yourself out or stress yourself out by working too much to accumulate possessions and wealth because those things will mean nothing at the end of your life. The only thing that will matter is your love for the Lord and the people he placed in your life. (Proverbs 23:4)
Bible Principle 3: Take a step of faith and cheerfully give some of your money back to the work of the Lord because He promises to reward those who trust Him by doing so! (Malachi 3:10). I’ve done this faithfully for several decades whether I felt like I had the money to give or not. The Lord has always provided for me, sometimes in strange and unusual ways!
We all go through challenging days in our marriages and in our lives in general. It’s at those times; we tend to feel so alone. We desperately need to know that God notices our distress. We need to know that He is with us and that He cares.
Well, despite what Satan is whispering in your ear…that nobody cares…that you’re all alone…that your broken heart will never get better…the Bible tells a different story! I find so much comfort in these verses:
The Lord is close to the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18)
Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)
You are the God who sees me (Genesis 16:13)
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3)
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion. Psalm 103:2-4
Are you in a waiting phase? Maybe you’re waiting for God to answer your prayer regarding your husband. Maybe you’re waiting for your rebellious child, stubborn child to finally become mature. Maybe you’re waiting for your heart to heal after being betrayed by your husband. Whatever the thing you’re waiting for, I think we can all agree that waiting is hard! It’s hard because we have to be patient, and let’s be honest; most of us aren’t very good with the whole patience virtue. These two realizations have helped me learn to be a bit more patient when I have to wait.
1) God’s timing is often very different than what I think it should be, yet He is always faithful to show up. Psalm 40:1-2 “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth…”
2) Some of the great women of the Bible had to wait and wait and wait before finally experiencing a HUGE answer to their prayers. Sarah, Rebekah, Hannah, Rachel, and more all had to wait ridiculously long periods of time before God finally allowed them to give birth. But when their prayers were finally answered, oh my! They gave birth to some of the giants of the Bible: Isaac, Jacob, Samuel, Joseph. In other words, what they experienced in the end was well worth the wait. 🙂
Have you ever noticed how a man loves his dog? Maybe it’s partly because the dog is clearly devoted to his man and shows it by jumping around with giddy delight the moment his man walks in the door. Maybe it’s because the dog is his loyal companion. Maybe it’s because the dog seems to just accept his man, despite his flaws and isn’t bent on questioning his every move. J
I can’t help but think wives could learn something from a man’s dog. (Yes, I’m saying this a bit tongue in cheek, but maybe a bit seriously too!) What if we, as wives, rushed to the door and greeted our husbands with love and excitement, just as a dog greets its owner when he comes in the door at the end of the work day? What if we, as wives, were as eager to please as a man’s dog? What if we were as much a faithful companion to our husbands as dogs are for their owners? What if we, like a lap dog, made it a practice of snuggling up close, without talking? The Bible actually has something to say about that. In 1 Peter 3:1, God says that “husbands may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.” Hmmm. That’s something to ponder. Yep, perhaps there are a few lessons to learn from “a man’s best friend”….
Many powerful and influential male leaders have attributed much of the reason for their success to their wives. Billy Graham is one of those leaders. When his wife died in 2007, he told reporters “My work through the years would have been impossible without her encouragement and support.”
Our husbands need our encouragement and esteem in order to have the boldness and confidence to accomplish great things. In Genesis 2:18, God makes it clear that women were created because men need help. God said “It is not good for man to be alone. I will create a helper suitable for him.” That helper is us, and one of the biggest ways we can help our husbands is by encouraging them with our words.
With that in mind, here are some words that your man longs to hear from you:
Our husbands battle the world every day at their jobs. Co-workers stab them in the back. Other men put them down in order to look more important. The culture tells your man he is a failure if he doesn’t own a Mercedes and he can’t dunk like LeBron James.
So when your man comes home to you, the last thing he needs is to feel like a failure in your eyes too. However, our words often unintentionally communicate just that! Perhaps this is why God felt it necessary to actually instruct wives in Ephesians 5:33 that “the wife must respect her husband”.
Even if your husband has disappointed you, you can still be respectful as you address his behavior, request changes, and establish boundaries. However, if you condemn him and belittle him in that moment of disappointment, you shred his heart. As a result, he will likely turn his heart away from you, self-medicate his pain in destructive ways, or simply stop trying to be a good man since you don’t see anything good in him anyway!
With the need to respect your husband in mind, here are some words you should never say to your man: